Hong Kong professor set to share My Athletic Notebook research at 2021 Virtual Sport for Life Canadian Summit

Dr. Raymond Sum

When the creators of My Athletic Notebook first set out to design and create their products, the idea was to give participants something tangible they could hold in their hands. They wanted kids putting pen to paper. And because the journal is a physical object, not an app on their phone, the creators hope it will become a distinct and meaningful part of athletes’ daily lives as they track their Long-Term Development progress.

The way they figure, kids don’t need any more reasons to look at screens.

That’s where academia comes in. During the upcoming 2021 Virtual Sport for Life Canadian Summit, Dr. Raymond Sum of the Chinese University of Hong Kong will be sharing the research he’s been doing involving these journals, and detailing his plans to use them as part of a larger project. Created by Sporté.co, the journals are currently being published into multiple languages such as Russian and Chinese. 

These journals are a powerful tool for enhancing athletes’ cognitive function and helping them with their goal setting. When they use it with a coach or parent, it’s a great tool for recording their progress and planning ahead. It serves so many purposes and applies to many different settings,” Sum told Sport for Life. 

“This is a tool that could easily transfer to other subjects as well. Though it was designed with sports in mind, it would be equally useful if you were studying music, or doing artwork, or pursuing other disciplines.”

Sum’s career has been spent as a researcher, primarily studying physical literacy and its application to different populations. He’s alarmed at the ways phones and other screens affect the spine and posture, calling it “a disaster for our health”, and hopes that use of these journals will lead to positive health outcomes. In January, he is starting a study with 300 students in Hong Kong who will use the journals. 

“The journal is only a means, but the key is we want to explore student physical literacy. We want to understand how they perceive physical literacy and introduce objective measures to track their cognitive function. After eight weeks of activity and training using this journal, we’ll test them so we can compare their pre-journal and post-journal progress,” he said. 

“We want to bridge the gap between academia and business.”

Sum is thrilled that multiple countries are now engaging with the journals. They’ve been translated into six different languages, and they will continue to develop and improve as they receive feedback from outreach events like the Summit. At his Summit presentation, Sum will be joined by the founder and president of Sporté.co, Vasili Cojemeachin.

“We are very proud of our most recent release of interactive training journals specially made for the Jr. NBA Youth Basketball program in partnership with Canada Basketball. With our project, we developed our expertise in combining our methodology with the existing program. We truly believe that our journal could enhance your actual program,” said Cojemeachin. 

Sport for Life CEO Richard Way is enthusiastic about the prospects of the journals, and pleased that an increasingly global audience of physical literacy champions are bridging the gaps between sectors. He hopes the upcoming Summit will be a further opportunity for delegates to collectively collaborate.

“When it comes right down to it, we’re all in the business of healthy development. Whether that means supporting an athlete’s long-term development, giving them the tools they need to succeed, or simply gathering research that will help delivery in the future, we’re all working towards the common goal of creating and supporting healthy and active humans,” he said.

“My Athletic Notebook is one of many exciting innovations our presenters will be sharing during our first ever virtual Summit, which promises to reach more people worldwide than we’ve ever reached before. We welcome any tool that aims to support the physical literacy journeys of our youth, so we can build towards a better future together.”

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